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100+ years of celebrating Lunar New Year

Celebrating the Chinese lunar calendar has been a Wells Fargo tradition since 1912.
Colorful painting showing a man in Chinese court costume delivering a roll of silk while another looks on. Superimposed is a red calendar dated 1967 with Wells Fargo’s name on the bottom. Under the bank’s name is the bank’s name in Chinese Characters.
Featured photo caption: Wells Fargo produced this calendar for its Chinese customers in 1967. A segment of the accompanying art published with the calendar is also shown. Photo Credit: Wells Fargo Corporate Archives.

Did you know that Wells Fargo has celebrated Lunar New Year for over 100 years?

Lunar New Year marks the start of the start of the year for many Asian communities which traditionally have used the lunar calendar. Every year, it is celebrated with weeks of fireworks, parades, and private moments of housecleaning and preparation for the year ahead.

For more than a century, Wells Fargo has produced a unique calendar to celebrate the Lunar New Year with customers and employees. The designs and styles have changed over time, but these calendars demonstrate Wells Fargo’s historic and continued commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Enjoy this selection of Lunar New Year calendars from the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives.

Earliest Wells Fargo Lunar Calendars

The earliest lunar calendars issued by Wells Fargo were produced by Chinese-printing companies and designed to appeal specifically to Chinese-speaking customers. The calendars issued during this period counted days in the lunar calendar in green and the solar calendar in red.

This 1912 calendar has characters in green to mark the days according to the lunar calendar with the solar calendar in red. This version features a photo of an unknown man and a group picture described as the Young Arrow Club Chinese Band.
Earliest known Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1912.
On this 1923 calendar featuring a Wells Fargo stagecoach illustration, the characters in green mark the days according to the lunar calendar. The days of the Western calendar, which appear in red, count time based on the earth’s revolution around the sun.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1923.

Colorful and collectible celebrations of Asian art

Over time, the calendars shifted their design to become increasingly decorative. People loved the colorful prints with ornate gold embellishments; they collected and displayed the popular calendars in their homes and businesses. The calendars sometimes featured historic Asian art and artifacts. Regardless of the design, the calendars continued to mark days in both the solar and lunar systems.

Calendars in the 1970s feature Wells Fargo’s Chinese name represented by four Chinese characters (rich, country, money, house). The characters were chosen by a San Francisco bank manager in Chinatown who felt they better appealed to the customers he saw every day. The characters continue to represent Wells Fargo today.

Calendar dated 1941. Colorful illustration with gold embellishments of two people meeting at a river bank. Calendar has solar dates marked in numeric print and lunar days marked in red.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1941.
Calendar dated 1945. Colorful illustration with gold embellishments of a person. Calendar has solar dates marked in numeric print and lunar days marked in red.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1945.
1963 calendar. Features pictures of two Asian sculptures.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1963.
1973 calendar features Asian art featuring two birds on a branch.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1973.
1976 calendar features Asian painting with a Chinese village and temple.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1976.

Telling time with Zodiac animals

During the 1990s, calendars began to feature the animals of the zodiac, which features 12 years named after animals, each with their own traits. Some calendars during this time dropped the lunar calendar markings but continued featuring the Zodiac animal theme.

The pattern began with the Year of the Rooster in 1993. That same year, Wells Fargo first sponsored local Lunar New Year celebrations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Since then, Wells Fargo has completed three cycles of animal zodiac in calendar art. In recent years, Wells Fargo has hired artists to design unique calendars with a compelling story narrative.

Rooster sits on rock in a desert landscape. In the background, a Wells Fargo stagecoach rolls past.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 1993. Year of the Rooster.
Calendar with picture of dog sitting on a treasure box.
Wells Fargo calendar, 1994. Year of the Dog. Lunar dates are omitted. Issued in Chinese and Vietnamese.
Calendar featuring picture of the stagecoach rolling past a field with a herd of pigs.
Wells Fargo calendar, 1995. Year of the Pig/Boar.
Calendar with illustration of Wells Fargo Stagecoach. Also features a rat with the title Why the Rat came first.
Wells Fargo calendar, 1996. Year of the Rat comes first.
Calendar issued as a scroll featuring a design of a colorful snake.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2001. Year of the Snake. Issued as a scroll.
Illustration of four horses, one each within a colorful circle. Shown against a solid red surface.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2002. Year of the Horse. Cover art shown.
Outline of three sheep against red backdrop.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2003. Year of the Sheep/Goat.
In a circular pattern are the outlines of a group of colorful monkeys. Each holding a peach, sign of longevity.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2004. Year of the Monkey.
Cover of calendar. Illustration of a rat in a circle of flowers.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2008. Year of the Rat.
Calendar cover. Illustration of rabbit emerging from 0 in the year 2011.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2011. Year of the Rabbit/Cat.
Calendar cover with illustration of dragon.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2012. Year of the Dragon.
Calendar cover with illustration of dog in flowery meadow.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, Year of the Dog, 2018.
Calendar cover with illustration of ox surrounded by people.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2021. Year of the Ox.
Calendar cover showing five tigers in different colors.
Wells Fargo lunar calendar, 2022. Year of the Tiger.
Calendar cover with illustration of Wells Fargo logo surrounded by rabbits.
Wells Fargo calendar, 2023. Year of the Rabbit.
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